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Old 06-22-2009, 09:54 AM   #1
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Is Metal Halide system the only way possible to get the "glistering look"?

Greetings,

I would like to know if it is possible to achieve the simmering look by the use of T5 bulbs? I have 8 T5s now and the largest fixture available by Current USA is 12 bulbs at 72" long (my tank size). I hate to buy it and not get the glistering look that I envy at the LFS. My corals are doing fine of what I have so this is for esthetic issues only. Thanks DP
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:58 AM   #2
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From everything I've seen and everyone I've talked to, the shimmer is only with MH.
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:57 AM   #3
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Ready to buy the MH/T5 System

Greetings to all,

After doing some research I think a system with MH/T5 combo would work for me since MH only is too expensive. I have a 125 gallon tank with 72" long so this is what I am thinking. If you have a better system, please let me know too. What I am looking for is the simmering look and thanks so much everyone! DP

72 inch Current USA Outer Orbit 3x150W 10K HQI-MH w/ 4x96W Dual Actinic & 8 Lunar Lights


Specifications:
  • Total Watts: 834W
  • Total Amperes: 7.18A
  • No./Color Temp: 3x150W 10,000k PowerPaq MH / 4 x 96W Dual Actinic 460/420nm
  • Lunar Lights: 8
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 72in x 15in x 4.25in
This one will cost me 1020.00 shipped. Thanks DP
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:42 PM   #4
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DP, those lights are fine, except if you plan on SPS corals in the future, they will need to be kept near the top with the 150w MH's. The same fixture with 250w bulbs would probably be better and shouldn't cost much more.

Welcome to the site timmy.
If you only got a 2 bulb T5 fixture for your 75, that is considered low light. You will be somewhat limited on what corals you can keep.
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:02 PM   #5
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DP, those lights are fine, except if you plan on SPS corals in the future, they will need to be kept near the top with the 150w MH's. The same fixture with 250w bulbs would probably be better and shouldn't cost much more.
Hello,

It is impossible to find MH/T5 by Current USA and all I can find is MH/PC. I also have hard time finding 250W MH by Current USA but I can get one from Coralife (3X250W with 4 96W PC). I have heard Coralife stuff is not good and I wonder what you feel about this fixture? DP

Coralife Aqualight Pro Metal Halide Aquarium Light Fixture, 3X250W HQI & 4X96W Compact Fluorescents, 72 inch
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:44 PM   #6
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Lightbulb corallife vs current

is your tank a 'shorty 125 only 22" deep? if it is i have some hard earned info for you since i just finished lighting on the same tank. one thing i can definetly tell you 250 w 10kelvin bulbs will fry the top half of your tank! 150 w/ 20000 kelvin german bulbs like rhodium or geismans with the electronic fired ballasts on the corallife is the best if your looking for a soft blue rather than a brlliant white . the other issue is moon lighting the corallife has much more intense flourescent moon lights not the little leds the current has. hope this helps your decision making go a little easier.
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:02 PM   #7
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the "shimmer effect" comes from the light being directed "from a single point" (single point light). This effect can't be achieved with fluorescents, only with MH or LED's which also are single point light.
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:53 PM   #8
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I agree with mandown as far as the shimmering affect. LED's are a lot cooler. If I remember correctly The Dr. had a heat related problem before.
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:35 AM   #9
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Hello,

I heard about LED too but until it becomes available, I guess MH is the only way to go to get the shimmering effect. I also bought a 47" tower fan from Walgreens and I will put that next to the tank. I will install the lights hanging from ceiling first then carefully monitor for the heat build up. DP
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:29 PM   #10
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I believe that they already sell the LED modules I seen it in the Good Doctors cat.
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:35 PM   #11
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Is this way too much?

I am now doubting about my choice of fixture as one person at my LFS said that 1134 watts (3 250W MHs and 4 96W PC) is way overkill while one other said it is OK. My tank is 72" long (125 gallon). What do you think? My contractor is coming over tonight to hang up the fixture so I need to know how high up to mount it. DP
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:49 PM   #12
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I don't have any hands on experience so I will let other help you with the distants. You can put layers of mosqito screen to filter you light to get your stock used to the light. If a contractor is installing it have him make the height variable
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:56 PM   #13
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i don't think it is overkill if you want to keep SPS corals.

I wouldn't use PC for actinic supplementation, I would use T5. More efficient and much less heat. With this kind of firepower, though, you may need to also include a chiller in your system to keep from temperatures getting too high.

LED systems are definitely available and are becoming very good options. They are hella expensive, but save on electricity and don't produce much heat at all, no chillers needed.
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:10 PM   #14
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i don't think it is overkill if you want to keep SPS corals.

I wouldn't use PC for actinic supplementation, I would use T5. More efficient and much less heat. With this kind of firepower, though, you may need to also include a chiller in your system to keep from temperatures getting too high.

LED systems are definitely available and are becoming very good options. They are hella expensive, but save on electricity and don't produce much heat at all, no chillers needed.
Too bad major companies like Current USA, Coralife don't make MH with T5s anymore but use PC instead. Something about the MH/T5 that is not selling well. I have a 47" tower fan that I will turn on while the lights are on and I will install at least 10" away from the aquarium. I did research online and I need 3 MHs because my tank is 72" (you need on every 24 inches). Since may tank is 24" deep, I would need 250 Watts so I am within guideline. I am quite sure my light system would become obsolete in next 3 years. Well, 1600.00 bucks down the drain! DP
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:19 PM   #15
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hmm they don't? T5 is newer technology than PCs.

I have an aquactinics 48" 2x250w MH and 2x54w T5 lamps with 2 LED moonlights and its awesome. Very pleased.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:28 AM   #16
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Hello,

I do not know why Current USA and Coralife only have MH/PC instead of MH/T5. Current recently discontinued MH/T5 line and went with MH/PC instead. I hung mine up at the tentative 10" away from the tank and the improvement over my 8 T5s is marginal. You can barely see the shimmering effect. The PCs at that distance virtually play no role in color output. In addition, heat is not a factor either. I am going to bring it down to 5" to see if I can it more bright as well as improving the esthetics of the whole system too. The legs suppied place the fixture at 4" and I think it may be too close for comforts. My tank dimension is 72" long and 23" (height). Lastly, the color of three MHs (250 watts/10K) and four atinic 96W is way too yellow. I may have to buy the 20K to get it more blue. Overall, the fixture is of high quality. The four moonlights are very strong and they give a spectacular "glow" to my red brain coral, green hammerheads, frog spawn, pipe organ and green star polys. They remined me of the movie "Tron" in the eighties. The moonlights are used for special effects and not appropriate as night time lighting because of their deep blue output. DP
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:37 AM   #17
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sounds good. I have 14 K, it is a little bluer. You can google it and see pics of bulb comparisons; not only k rating but different brands look different.

make sure you are getting good water surface agitation. That is what gives it the shimmer looks as well. Point a powerhead up at the surface.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:46 AM   #18
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sounds good. I have 14 K, it is a little bluer. You can google it and see pics of bulb comparisons; not only k rating but different brands look different.

make sure you are getting good water surface agitation. That is what gives it the shimmer looks as well. Point a powerhead up at the surface.
Do you know the ideal distance (light to water surface) with my set up? DP
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:03 PM   #19
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